Monday, March 29, 2010

Love


There are a lot of photos of six of us celebrating. The 7th person was always holding the camera.


My father loved a lot of things. Swimming, basketball....


He was a chemist. With two daughters allergic to science.


The Christmas tree had to have tinsel. And only he could put it on properly.


He certainly loved to eat. And Christmas wasn't Christmas without a cannoli.


He danced. At weddings and in our home. After a celebration, we'd roll up the rug and put on some rock 'n roll.

As a boy, his Uncle Billy taught him to fish at a point in Brooklyn, NYC. Over the years, fishing was relaxation. And if dinner was caught, so much the better.

He was beautiful.


When he was younger, his father left. Took the car, the savings and just left. My father, his sister Ruth and brother Richard braved the world together. It was the three of them against the world as my grandmother struggled to care and provide for her children.


Their love and affection for each other carried them through life.

This June would have been their 59th anniversary.


"You will carry him in your hearts always and find him in unexpected ways," wrote my close friend. "Those who love deeply, grieve deeply," wrote a wonderful blogger.

There are so many photos of my parents dancing... I know how wonderful that is. It's a gift,


The biggest hug in the world on my sister's wedding day.

The biggest smile in the world on mine.

Matthew wanted this photo. For his smile. His grandson.


Kirsten wanted this one. His granddaughter.

Not everyone knew his great capacity for silliness. But my sister did!

In the great northwoods for my parent's 50th. We didn't fish but we had an al fresco lunch on Lake Superior.



At 2:30 a.m. Palm Sunday, my sister woke up. She went downstairs to check on Dad. She felt the room fill up. She saw Grandma Daisy and Aunt Ruth. She held his hand. From my father's early days he was a caregiver. Way before Grandpa Rudy up and left them, he assumed care of my Uncle Richard. He continued to be a caregiver his entire life. My sister told him how much he was loved. And that everyone he loved would be fine and it was all right to leave. And while holding his hand, he died peacefully. At home. As was promised.


We celebrated everything. Every birthday, anniversary, graduation and the fact that it was Sunday and we were all free for dinner.



We gathered at their Woodbury home. To cry, to nosh, to grieve, to tell stories. Later as my daughter was home alone prepping for a job interview, our yellow lab howled. Our cat meowed. She could not quiet them. She listened. She looked outside. She could not see what set them off. And then she wondered if Grandpa was checking on his granddaughter one last time. Ever the caregiver, checking to see if she was all right. Flights of fancy? Does it matter?
`
My father was a private man. I will respect the privacy and never write of what is intensely personal to him. But I will always write of his love.

And he loved. And was loved.

33 comments:

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is a beautiful tribute to your father, and the great memories of him that your family holds so tightly.

Bridgett said...

This is a beautiful celebration of your wonderful family. It sounds like your Dad was an angel on Earth. Your pride beams through in this post.

Valerie said...

Wow...

Ruth said...

never has love has been described so simply and yet to accurately!!! Thank you for sharing something so precious!!

OysterCulture said...

What an incredible beautiful moving post. It is a gift - your post reminded me of my relatives, that now look over us, and left us too soon.

You're father sounds like such a special man and the memories you have are precious gems.

Angie's Recipes said...

A sincerely touching contribution to your father and your loving family.
Claudia, thanks for sharing such a treasured memories with us.

Vrinda said...

Just liked ur family album,thanx for sharing ...

Barbara GF said...

I'm sure your Dad is smiling down on you, Claudia. The love you shared is palpable. My heart goes out to you and your family. Your beautiful memories will keep him with you always.

Choices said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father. You and your family have wonderful memories of him. He will be in your hearts forever. Take care.
I tagged you on my blog.

Kate Sandvik said...

Beautiful, Claudia. Really sweet. It made me think and made me cry. thank you.

pegasuslegend said...

an unfortunate time in our lives to face, its never easy, and there is never closure. We are them now. I missed my dad when he got sick,and grieved him before he passed, to see him suffer. Then when he passed all I could think about was how much I missed everything he stood for, the support he gave and the words of wisdom and the biggest thing was it mattered to me what he thought and wanted his opinion on everything, and it was riped away in an instant, your never prepared. Life goes on empty, your tribute just gave me that sense of closeness we all need to keep in our heart.Gone but never forgotten, he lives through us, that will keep him alive, and he knows this. This was a beautiful tearful post, bless you, and give you strenght through this emotional time. Thinking of you my friend.....much love to you and your family xxxooo

Katy ~ said...

My dear, this was beautiful. Tears are at the edge of my eyelids. I feel a loss for a wonderful man that I never met, but grateful for the wonderful daughter he helped bring to this world.

Bless you both.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Claudia - I am so, so sorry for your loss. It's obvious from the loving tribute you gave him, that he was loving and loved. You are lucky you had such a special Dad in your life and that the end of his life was at home among those he loved. May God bless you and send peace to you and your family.

Wanda said...

So sorry for the loss of your Dad, Claudia. Your post has honored him well, I'm sure in life, he felt the love all of you had for him. Hope you find comfort in the many loving memories you have of your Dad. ♥...Wanda

gaga said...

What great memories! I'm so sorry for your loss.

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Claudia,
Hugs to you and your family. My prayers are with you guys. Palm Sunday...WOW!
I loved all the pictures and your loving words. I loved the part about you girls being allergic to science!
Hugs!

3 hungry tummies said...

They are such sweet vintage photos! Thank you for sharing!

janet said...

Claudia, you were truly blessed to have known and shared such love. My heart is with you and your family.

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Claudia! This was a beautiful, loving tribute. I'm wrapping my arms around you to give you a big, tight squeeze.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Claudia, what a beautiful tribute to your father. I'll always be Daddy's little girl and so will you. I'm so sad for your loss.
Hugs,
Sam

Jen_from_NJ said...

Claudia, you have such a beautiful way with words. What a wonderful tribute to a very special man. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear father. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Kim said...

Oh Claudia, I'm so very sorry for your loss. The bond between a Daughter and her Daddy is one of the most special things in this world. I hope you are finding comfort in your family and your memories. This is a wonderful post and you are such a special lady! Big hugs to you.

Mary said...

The tribute you wrote for your father is a tribute his measure as a man. You will always carry him in your heart. The pain of loss ebbs, but the memories and love only grow with the years.

My Little Space said...

This is such a beautiful post, Claudia. Through those pictures I could see that he was a very loving man. I'm sure he'll be always in your heart and soul. Blessing! ((hugs)) & kisses!
Regards,
Kristy

Chow and Chatter said...

so sorry Claudia I adore this post and really makes you think to enjoy all the memories love his dancing love ya and your sweet blog

Rebecca

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Have a wonderful weekend my friend.
Sam

Lori Lynn said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Claudia.

That was a very moving post. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family this Easter.
LL

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I am so asry, Claudia, that you lost your Dad! I knew from your last post that someone very special was in hospice, and I've said prayers for you and your family since I read that post.

This was such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man who lived a good and love filled life. I could see from his photos that his smile could light up a room!


My deepest condolences to you and your family.

{{{{{{ Hugs}}}}}

theUngourmet said...

What a wonderful tribute to your dear father. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful photos of his life. Thank you for sharing this.

Gloria said...

Sorry for your loss, is a ovely and wonderful tribute to your father, lovely pictures, gloria

Tupper Cooks! said...

Excellent. Very well written and you have a wonderful family. Thanks for sharing.

Velva said...

This post moved me. Beautiful.

Lynda said...

What a special tribute to your father Claudia-he sounds like a wonderful loving man, and I know that you feel wonderfully blessed to have had him as your dad.Thank God you had him with you for so many precious years!
I have lost both my parents and while I have so many great memories, I still miss them.
Blessings and comfort to you, my friend.